This is as close as we can come to actually singing to our readers on their birthdays! 

We’d love to include yours – and/or your children’s birthdays here.

Just email to:

lynette@stunewslaguna.com

 

Celebrate and enjoy your

birthday!

 

February 20

Ronald Chilcote

Salem Alkateb

Steven Chew

 

February 21

Caroline Rustigian Bruderer

Christopher Schulz

Karlie Noyes

Marty Kansriddle

Richard Henrikson

Ryan Kollock

 

February 22

Brent Crawford

Charles Abraham

Faith Darling

Jason Feddy

John Bodrero

Susan Trudeau

Russell Pierce

Karen Polek

 

February 23

Laura Baldwin Henkels

 

February 24

James “Jimmy” Echternach

Jeff Grice

John Skaggs

Marla Moore

Pamela Levin

 

February 25

Angela Costa Roque Baptista

Frank Cotinola

 

February 26

Kerry Harker

 

February 27

Gavin Richards

Michael Digiovanni

Nancy Robinson

Samantha Savage Breit

Sound Spectrum

Faves

 

1.Valentine Mix – Reggae Love Songs!

2. Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa, Black Coffee

3. Ty Segall, Freedom’s Goblin

4. Justin Timberlake, Man of the Woods

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5. War On Drugs, Deeper Understanding

6. P!nk, Beautiful Trauma

7. Lana Del Rey, Lust For Life

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8. Beck, Colors

9. Neil Young, The Visitor

10. Foo Fighters, Concrete and Gold

11. Taylor Swift, Reputation

12. Tropidelic, Heavy Is The Head

13. Claypool-Lennon Delirium, Monolith of Phobos

14. St. Vincent, Masseducation 

15. U2, Songs Of Experience

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16. Jack Johnson, All The Light Above It Too

17. Weezer, Pacific Daydream

18. Kendrick Lamar, Damn

19. Imagine Dragons, Evolve

20. Killers, Wonderful Wonderful

 

Since 1967

1264 S. Coast Hwy

949-494-5959

Spring Film Genres Class at Susi Q: Attend one or all of these hand-picked movies

Irvine Valley College’s 2017 Emeritus Teacher of the Year, Kathryn Kramer, will lead a film screening and discussion group every Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. at Susi Q. 

This class is open ended/open exit, meaning that one doesn’t have to attend each meeting, but early enrollment is highly recommended. Such IVC offerings are again being offered totally free to registered students. 

Full schedule of movies: (Selections may change without prior notice.)  

2/20/18 The Founder 2016 USA 1125 min. Michael Keaton stars as Ray Kroc, a persistent and ambitious salesman who founded an empire. Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch co-star.

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Atomic Blonde starring Charlize Theron screens on March 6

2/27/18 Monster 2003 USA 109 min. Charlize Theron won the Oscar for transforming herself into “freeway killer” Aileen Wuornos; with Christina Ricci. Directed by Patty Jenkins. 

3/6/18 Atomic Blonde 2017 USA 115 min. Watch for the stunts, not the story. The ice queen archetype comes alive as Charlize Theron’s MI6 Agent Lorraine Broughton “is equal parts spy-craft, sensuality and savagery” (Focus Features). 

3/13/18 The Hundred-Foot Journey 2014 USA 122 min. Restaurant owners clash. Helen Mirren stars and Lasse Hallstrom directs.

Susi Q Community Center is located at 380 Third St, 949-464-6645.

Police Header

Laguna Life And People 042914


Holly Morrell has a truly heart-warming tale to tell

By MAGGI HENRIKSON

Photos by MARY HURLBUT

Holly Morrell has a loving and compassionate heart. But it’s defective.

In all the good ways a heart can work; in caring for others, by giving back to the community, and enriching the world with her healthy spirit, Holly’s on top of the world. But in all the bad ways a heart can be broken, literally, that’s in her chest too.

Before she was born, people considered it a shame that her father’s mother had died so young. Even when her father’s sister died at the age of three, it was just one of those tragic things that happen. Thirty years ago the medical world considered cardiac arrest as a relationship to lifestyle, activity, or medication. 

But when Holly’s father, Chuck Morrell, was 57 years old he required a heart transplant, and then two of Chuck’s twin brother’s children died. One survived a full cardiac arrest at the age of 14. 

Finally, cardiologists at the National Institute of Health identified the genetic component doing its dirty work.

The Morrrell’s have suffered the loss of six of their 11 family members due to Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). Today, two live with devices implanted in their chests to prevent sudden cardiac arrest, and one received a heart transplant in 2010, as Holly’s father did in 1995.

Holly Morrell, champion of the heart

Holly was diagnosed with the condition herself in 2002. She endures and lives to fight on, after multiple surgeries to correct her implanted heart devices, and a full open-heart surgery two years ago.

Caring for others

“When my cousins died, it had a major impact on me,” Holly said. “I still had not been diagnosed, but I knew I wanted to start a screening program in memory of my loved ones lost, and save young people. More often than not, this is a preventable tragedy.”

Holly set out to learn more about early detection of heart problems. Genetic abnormalities of the heart are rare, but there are many other types of abnormalities as well that can be detected before an unthinkable tragedy strikes. 

“Even seemingly normal, healthy young people – athletes – die from sudden cardiac arrest every three days,” is one of the sobering statistics that Holly is trying to defy. The youngest person she has identified with a heart defect so far was a 9 year-old, and the oldest is a 60 year-old. It can happen to anyone.

Fifteen years ago she begged and borrowed the necessary mobile equipment and set out to perform screenings at high school athletic physicals. The Heartfelt Cardiac Projects started with little more than Holly’s compassion and determined spirit. Heartfelt screenings are her raison d’etre.

Giving back

“I didn’t choose this. This chose me,” Holly says, “Maybe it’s the reason I’ve survived. I feel incredibly blessed, even privileged to find my purpose in life.” 

Putting aside the grief her family has endured, Holly accentuates the positive. “I’m serving my mission, and it is unbelievably rewarding to know that you’ve saved a life.”

To date, Heartfelt Cardiac Projects have performed more than 30,000 screenings. About 10% of all screenings find some anomaly, and 2% are potentially life-threatening. And every life matters.

Click on photo for a larger image

 

Holly (right) with some of the kids whose hearts were saved

 thanks to Heartfelt screenings (left to right): Zack Berens, Ryan O’Hare, 

Cheyne Jernigan, and Dillon Gustafson

Enriching the world

One of the hardest things for non-profits and the big-hearted people who drive that engine of passion, is that there’s a business side required to make all the wheels move forward.

Heartfelt Cardiac Projects require screeners, all of whom have been volunteers so far, and expensive mobile equipment able to travel to the school sites they serve all over Southern California. To take this community-based service into the future, Heartfelt Projects would like some heartfelt partners. 

Donations are hugely important, as this small operation handles massive amounts of data, and utilizes precise equipment. A top of the line mobile screening machine, for example, runs in the vicinity of $80,000. “I’m not a fundraiser,” Holly says. “I was naïve and wanted to save lives and spare grief for others. Now I’m realizing I need help for growth.” To keep the non-profit screenings going forward, she has started a GoFundMe campaign with a modest fundraising goal of $25,000. 

She jokes, “I’m holding myself hostage! Send $1,000 ransom!”

In all seriousness, Holly hopes to raise enough money to buy a new portable echo-cardiogram. The Stu News Laguna community is invited to donate in any amount: http://www.gofundme.com/HeartfeltCardiacProjects

Strong-willed as she is, Holly could use extra hands on deck. One day she envisions having actual paid help. “I have great volunteers,” she said. “But I really need to be able to pay people to help me. I can’t do it alone.”

Heartfelt Cardiac Projects will be screening more than 1,000 students in the next couple of months including many at Laguna Beach High School.

The Laguna Beach School District through the Athletic Boosters will be making Heartfelt screenings available during the next athletics’ physicals on June 3 and 4. The screenings are $85. The same tests normally cost as much as $1500 and are usually not covered by insurance.

Journey to the top of the world

“I believe my life was spared in order for me to continue my life’s work,” said Holly. “Often the gift of purpose is found through great adversity.”

Holly has time on her side now, but she also knows that every minute is precious.

Sudden cardiac death occurs every 90 seconds in the U.S. That is an ironic fact for Holly as she notes that is the exact time she was given to live when her heart failed two years ago.

The surgeon who performed the open-heart surgery that saved her life appreciated the full impact of those 90 seconds. The problem area of Holly’s heart resided under her left collarbone, a difficult area to find and repair. “He told me months after the surgery that it had been a touch and go situation,” she said. “He really didn’t know if I’d make it. My blood pressure was plummeting, and I was bleeding out. He had 90 seconds to fix my heart. That’s all that separated me from life and death.”

Holly only remembers waking up briefly after the surgery. “He kissed me on my forehead, and said, ‘I’m glad you made it’.”

These days Holly is good as gold. She checks in with the doctor every three months, and does home monitoring where the device in her heart actually sends a signal through a system to the doctor’s phone. 

“Even though I tried to put on a brave face I truly had a hard time imagining any quality of life ever again. I was wrong!” she says. “I am beyond grateful. My life is both a miracle and a blessing and I wish to cherish every 90 seconds of it!”

She’s not sure the doctor would approve, but she’s feeling good enough to get back into tennis, and her former partners are thrilled. And her beautiful dog, Sophie, is happy to get back to long walks together.

Sophie loves a nice walk once again with her pal Holly

There is no reason to doubt this optimist and activist. Last year alone she saved eight people’s lives with early detection. Her Heartfelt project has detected thousands of young people with heart defects, and provides the service at an affordable price - a fraction of the cost it would be in hospital, and the outpouring of love and gratitude from the families of loved-ones she has helped to save is palpable. 

May Heartfelt Cardiac Projects grow and flourish just as Holly Morrell’s heart does.

Anyone, of any age, can schedule a screening at the website: www.heartfeltcardiacprojects.org

Library Events

February

 

 Fri, Feb 16

Homework Club 

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Homework is an important part of the education process. It improves your child’s thinking and memory, helps them develop positive study skills and habits that will serve him or her well throughout life. That is why Laguna Beach Library is hosting a Homework Club. Children from Kindergarten through 8th grade are welcome to attend and receive help with their homework in Math and English.

 

Sat, Feb 17

Children’s Craft Open House

9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Get creative! Let your imagination run wild! Children under 12 are encouraged to come to the library during the hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to make fun and creative seasonal crafts. Adult supervision is recommended.

 

Sat, Feb 17

Poetry Workshop

2 – 4 p.m.

Poetry Workshop is set to take place at the Laguna Beach Library. For more information, contact (949) 497-1733.

 

Tue, Feb 20

Crazy 8’s Math Club

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Crazy 8s is a recreational after-school math club that helps kids enjoy the math behind their favorite activities! This is an 8-week program for K-2nd grade. The club will meet once a week for one hour. Space is limited. Pre-registration is required. 

 

Wed, Feb 21

Pre-School Playtime

10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Calling all pre-schoolers and toddlers! You are invited to enjoy our new Wednesday storytime. Stories, songs, fingerplay, dancing and more will encourage a love of books and learning in a fun and interactive environment. Come for the stories and stay for playtime afterward.

 

Thu, Feb 22

Family Storytime

10:30 a.m. – Noon

Welcome to the Peapod Academy. Join some of the cutest babies, toddlers, and preschoolers in town (and adults of their choice) at the Library. Little peas will enjoy books & storytime, songs & music, fingerplays, movement, hands on activities, arts & crafts, and other cadets. Each week has a different theme. Get to know others and support your little one’s developmental skills. No preregistration required. 

 

Fri, Feb 23

Homework Club

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Homework is an important part of the education process. It improves your child’s thinking and memory, helps them develop positive study skills and habits that will serve him or her well throughout life. That is why Laguna Beach Library is hosting a Homework Club. Children from Kindergarten through 8th grade are welcome to attend and receive help with their homework in subjects Math and English.

 

Laguna Beach Library

363 Glenneyre St.

www.ocpl.org

949-497-1733

Laguna Beach Books Bi-weekly Bestsellers

 

Novels

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

 

Non-Fiction

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson

The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers

 

Children’s Books

I Am Peace by Susan Verde

Petra by Marianna Coppo

Yellow Kayak by Nina Laden

 

Staff Recommendation

It Occurs to Me That I Am American by Jonathan Santlofer 

1200 S Coast Hwy

949.494.4779

www.lagunabeachbooks.com

Forest Avenue Banner Program

The Community Services Department is requesting email addresses from Laguna Beach based non-profit organizations interested in participating in the 2019 Forest Ave Banner Program. 

Submit your email address before Thurs, Feb 22, to pslowsky@lagunabeachcity.net 

to receive information and dates to participate in the program.

Shaena Stabler is the Owner and Publisher.

Lynette Brasfield is our Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

The Webmaster is Michael Sterling.

Katie Ford is our in-house ad designer.

Alexis Amaradio, Cameron Gillespie, Allison Rael, Barbara Diamond, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle, Maggi Henrikson, Marrie Stone, Samantha Washer and Suzie Harrison are staff writers.

Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle and Suzie Harrison are columnists.

Mary Hurlbut, Scott Brashier, and Aga Stuchlik are the staff photographers.

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

Email: Shaena@StuNewsLaguna.com for questions about advertising

949.315.0259

Email: Lynette@StuNewsLaguna.com with news releases, letters, etc

949.715.1736